Monday, August 21, 2006

That's so Gay....

I was thinking about gay clichés the other day. In photos on gay hookup sites as well as in everyday gay life.
Suddenly I realised, that without even knowing it I had infact partaken in may be the biggest newbie Sydney gay cliché there is…and that’s the first kiss.

He was broad, friendly and masculine. Italian good looks and soft positive outlook on life…and he wore the smallest footy shorts to the gym when he trained there on a Sunday afternoon. Yum!

Ultimately this story leads up to my first intimate encounter with another man, but that story will come later. For now this guy is being friendly and supportive of what is turning out to be my first open interactions (and first flirting) with another gay man. Through our conversation that afternoon (over coffee post workout) he realises that I haven’t been to a Mardi Gras, nor was I planning to go to the party next weekend. That, he said firmly, was not going to happen. So the weekend comes and off we trot to the biggest dance party in the southern hemisphere, which just happens to be filled with 10,000 of the gayest guys and gals this side of San Francisco.

Walking in my mind is blown, BLOWN! Drag queens directing the steady flow of human traffic, the biggest guys Id ever seen roid soaked muscles punishing thinly stretched lycra and low slung jeans… Air kisses and high fives as ‘the scene’ gathered once again for the party of the year and a celebration of all things queer.

And here I was, a 19 year old, very overdressed and under prepared kid soaking it all in realising that there was infact somewhere to belong….somewhere where people were like me. (No that isn’t the Cliché bit, although it could be…)

We stumble around the crowd and head towards the thumpa thumpa of the Royal Hall of Industries (one of two giant buildings which house the dance spaces of the Mardi Gras party) as we bear closer the thumpa thumpa turns from a faint sound to a distinct feeling right in the chest across my lungs. We round the corner and the scene hits me in the face. Slapping me across the face like a well practiced drama queen. BAM! The lighting rigs stand 3 stories tall, lasers dance across the heads of the masses pulsing on the dance floor in time with the hypnotic memorising beats coming from speakers the size of cars.
I’ve stopped dead in my tracks. People push past and around me. Still I stay, fixed while I soak in this sight.
An anonymous guy approaches me from behind and yells into my ear “Enjoy it all, welcome to the family” he looks at my chaperone and mouths the question “Newbie?” whilst jerking his head in my direction to indicate he was enquiring about me. My friend smiles and nods. Welcome to the family.
Suddenly I am very aware as the sounds in this place morph into a song. A song that continues to effect me, to this day. “Take this light, hold it high, feel it shine.
I know now that here inside ... this is mine.
.... this is yours.
This is your sanctuary....” [Sanctuary by Origene. ]
It was moment I realised a lot of things about myself. And a lot of things about my world. And it blew me away.

The next few hours are a blur. A blur of music and people and sight, smells and sounds. Friendly drag queens and butch dykes, guys wearing high heels with wife beater singlets and other guys wearing nothing but a Speedo. My head was spinning and swimming and intoxicated.

Cut to the Horden Pavilion. The second of the large buildings converted that night into paradises of hedonism and music. This one is far darker and much steamier as the music gets low and gritty pleasuring the back of your skull and down your spine. I’m grinding and dancing and pumping away to the music with my chaperone as a dirty remix of Shakira’s Whereever, Whenever [] we move closer together he grabs my hips as we sway side to side together enjoying the beat of the music pouring over us from the giant speakers hanging above us.
He pulls my hips closer my body follows as we get closer and closer. The funny bit is, it didn’t even dawn on me what was about to happen until he leans in and presses his lips against mine. Sucking gently on my lips he presses his tongue into my mouth as we stand there momentarily disconnected from the scene having my own moment of Wow. I start to kiss him back and the passion, connection and power of this kiss, this moment stir through my body as I relax and enjoy. We pull apart he gives me a sly and naughty smile, like a little boy who knows he’s just been mischievous but thinks its worth it.

I just smile. I soak it all in, my first kiss. Its wonderful, I look around and take in the room, kissed by this man surrounded by all these people publicly sexualised and in the moment. Shakira continues her tirade as I run from the dance floor…. I make it to the sidelines just in time to throw up in a bin…. That was one fuking huge step, which perhaps hit me all at once, just a little hard.
Surfice to say, the throwing up is no longer a problem.
So my first gay kiss was in the middle of the dance floor at the Mardi Gras, that’s so Cliché gay!!

But I’m still Dancing.


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